Dear Mr. Hester,
Grobbelaar; Harkness, Hysen, Tanner, Burrows; McManaman, Molby, McMahon, Walters; Rush, Saunders
These names will mean nothing to you. In fact, these names, collectively, will probably mean nothing to most Liverpool supporters.
To me, it’s that biting October wind. It’s the moment the door is knocked upon and your granddad stands there. It’s a hat, cap, badge or a scarf as you walk down Walton Breck Road and catch sight of what will come to define you as both a football fan and a person.
Port Vale, Rumbelows Cup third round, 29 October 1991. My first match at Anfield. It wouldn’t be the last.
I studied Dickens and Shakespeare at great depth in university, but my memory can hardly differentiate between Macbeth and Magwitch. The midfield of McManaman, Molby and McMahon is a different story.
I remember seeing the ball hit the net from Rush’s header and hearing the sparse Kop roar. I will never forget the touch of my granddad’s hug as we scored as the smell of celebratory cigarettes filled the night air. My first taste of Liverpool Football Club.
Ask any Liverpool fan about their first experience and they’ll be similarly encyclopaedic, because that’s what supporting this football club is about. A mosaic of memories in your mind displayed every time you see your team play.
This football club has the most impressive mosaic of all. That famous Anfield roar on a European night originates from the voices of the thousands who have gone before us. Inter Milan, St. Etienne, Auxerre, Roma, Olympiakos, Juventus, Chelsea. Layer upon layer of the club's history being created by us, the fans.
Football is the purest form of escapism. For 90 minutes, it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, married or single. For 90 minutes, it doesn't matter if you're a lawyer, a librarian or a landscape architect. You get lost in the experience of innocence; part of you drifts back to that night against Port Vale, or that league match against Norwich; that time when all that mattered in the world was who started up front.
That innocence has been ruined by snakes who slithered into our garden and offered David Moores the fruit of his labours three-and-a-half years ago. Moores greedily devoured, and now Liverpool supporters have to suffer for his sin.
Now, it feels like we have to be chartered accountants to understand the football club. We’re sending letters to your bank using words and terms it’s not our job to fully comprehend. When my grandfather took me to that Port Vale game in 1991, he was taking me to watch a football match, not a business venture.
All of our actions and efforts to remove Hicks & Gillett are necessary evils. Just because we do it doesn’t mean we enjoy it. It will make us stronger and it will bring the fans of this football club together once more, but I look forward to the day we can all stand united over our support for a new left-back, as opposed to disdain for leveraged buyouts.
I don’t know what to believe regarding Kenny Huang’s bid. I don’t know how much control RBS have, or how much control Christian Purslow or Martin Broughton have, for that matter. The fact that this sort of business is our business is the most lamentable part of it all – Shankly’s holy trinity of manager, players and supporters is not sacred anymore.
Perhaps there should be intentions from those in power to do something with Liverpool Football Club that hasn’t happened from the moment David Moores accepted Hicks and Gillett’s bid.
Act with the best interests of the club, and its supporters, in mind - give us our football club back.